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CEABN TEAM: Conceição Colaço, Cristina Gabriel, Joana Abreu, Mariana Carvalho e Rui Duarte.

OTHER INSTITUTIONS: Forestry Department - Plant Nursery (ISA), Environmental Sciences Department (ISA), Lycée Français Charles Lepierre, Escola EB 2,3 - Aquilino Ribeiro.

Through this project the students from high school worked with teachers and researchers from Instituto Superior de Agronomia - ISA (Institute of Agronomy), in order to better understand the environmental problem of desertification, which changes fertile soils into deserts and may occur naturally or due to human action.

Practical experiments about the influence of abiotic (weather, soil) and biotic factors (plants development and its survival) in desertification were realized with the help of monitors.

The activities were carried out on this last topic, including the study of different plants growth, that allowed us to understand the recovering of recently burned areas or with soil loss.

Forest fires were also one of the themes approached, through experiments that showed different flammabilities of several forest species as well as the fire behaviour.

The occurrence of forest wildfires creates propitious conditions to an increasing loss of soil due to the eradication of vegetation. Erosion experiments with different soils and vegetation cover were also performed.

The activities were carried out at the Agro-meteorological Station, the Seedling Nursery and Centro de Ecologia Aplicada Prof. Baeta Neves (Centre for Applied Ecology).


  • Colaço, C., Carvalho, M., Faria, C., Cortez, N., Abreu, F. (2007). Experiência de um programa de educação ambiental sobre "Desertificação". In: I Congreso Internacional de Educación Ambiental dos Países Lusófonos e Galicia.  Comunicacións, 24-27 SePTEMBER 2007, Santiago de Compostela.  Centro de Extensión Universitaria e Divulgación Ambiental de Galicia (CEIDA). CD-ROM (6 pp.) Oleiros (A Coruña), Spain.
  • Colaço, M. C., Faria, C., Carvalho, C., Cortez, N., Abreu, F. (2008). Desertificação: experiência de um projecto Ciência Viva. In: Seminário Ibérico sobre Restauro de Ecossistemas em Paisagens Mediterrânicas, 26 e 27 May 2008, Mértola. Associação de Defesa do Património de Mértola. Mértola. 
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